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CNN covers the case of the Cuban Five
Prestigious US lawyer Leonard Weinglass reiterated that Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, and René González are five Cuban men who went to the United States to monitor the activities of extremist groups in southern Florida that have long plotted and carried out terrorist attacks against Cuba.

Weinglass, a key member of the Cuban Five's defense team, was interviewed on past August 29 for CNN's afternoon newscast 'The Situation Room.'

During the interview, Weinglass highlighted that the five men were wrongfully convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, since the prosecutor was never able to prove the charge.

"This was one of the longest trials in the United States at the time it occurred and the evidence fell short," said Weinglass.

The prestigious legal expert recalled that the first federal appeals court that heard the five's case in August of 2005 concluded the men never received a fair trial. "That decision was set aside," said Weinglass, who represents Antonio Guerrero and continued, "but now in 2007 we are arguing for the first time -six years after their conviction- that the evidence failed to prove a conspiracy to commit espionage," he stressed.

Weinglass went on to explain that this was the first case in US history where not a single page of classified document was introduced into evidence. "The US government conceded they didn't have it," he stressed.

He recalled how Admirals and Generals testified for the defense, not for the prosecution. "Even the presidential adviser, Ricardo Nuncio, the adviser to President Clinton testified on behalf of the defense," said Weinglass and reiterated that there had never been an espionage case like that one.

Regarding the Cuban Five's mission in the US, Leonard Weinglass reiterated that it was to prevent further terrorist attacks against the island, which Miami-based groups have routinely plotted and carried out for nearly a century now, acting with total impunity and even the complicity of US authorities. Weinglass pointed to the more than 3,000 people who have died over the past 40 years as a result of those groups' activities, which have also cost Cuba tens of millions of dollars in damage. "An Italian tourist was killed in a Havana hotel in a bomb explosion. The perpetrator of the act, a Salvadorian mercenary, identified notorious international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles --today a free man in Miami-- as the man who hired him and trained him for the job.

"The charge of conspiracy to commit murder against Gerardo Hernández, is also unprecedented in US history," said Weinglass and continued "after 25 incursions over Cuban airspace by a group called Brothers to the Rescue, Cuba finally did what any country would do. It defended its airspace, by shooting down two of the aircraft, unfortunately, killing four people, and that led to a charge against one of the Five -that of conspiracy to commit murder. That charge," Weinglass reiterated, "the government conceded at the end of trial it failed to prove."

At the end of the interview with CNN, Leonard Weinglass, a member of the Cuban Five's defense team emphasized that the Cuban five were men who went to the United States after groups from southern Florida had attacked Cuba.

"Cuban airports were bombed. Hotels were bombed. An Italian tourist was killed. Busses were bombed. The Cuban government protested each and every one of those attacks. It was only when the United States failed to respond that five unarmed men came here without explosive, without weaponry, harmed no one, to monitor the activities of the groups that were attacking their country. That," Weinglass continued, "is recognized under international law as a legitimate response and even under American law, under the doctrine of necessity --having exhausted all efforts to peacefully resolve what was going on in Cuba. The Cuban government acted to protect its own people."

Those interested in watching the video of the CNN's The Situation Room of Aug. 29, 2007, featuring appeals attorney Leonard Weinglass, could do so by visiting the website of the US National Committee to the Free the Cuban Five,

Source: Radio Habana Cuba

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